Search This Blog


Slugging Average Percentage Ranked By MLB Position Played

Slugging average (aka slugging percentage) is a statistical measure of how much of a power hitter a batter has.  Slugging average (percentage) measures how many bases a certain baseball player manages to get for every at bat over the course of a season. A player that hits only singles will have lower slugging statistics as someone with the same batting average who also gets doubles, triples and home runs.

For example, Matt Kemp, a respected Dodgers power hitter in 2011 has managed a .497 (or thereabout) over the past seven years. A very a good slugging stat. A typical slugging percentage for a Major League Baseball player is around .420 or .430.  Get in the .490 range and you are really whacking that baseball.

Just for the controversial fun of it. Let's look at Barry Bonds. Bonds was notorious for attitude and performance enhancing drugs but he did slam that ball.  Barry Bonds slugging percentage was somewhere around .607, which is a totally ridiculous number steriods or not.

If you want to learn exactly how individual players slugging averages are calculated, click here for the post I wrote on how to do determine slugging average.

Which positions in MLB baseball have the highest slugging average? Do MLB first basemen have higher slugging numbers than shortstops? Which postions tend to hit the far the farthest and get the most bases out of it?

I ranked from best to worst the average slugging percentage for every position in Major League Baseball.  I found it impossible to find this statistic broken down and ranked by fielding position so I did my own calculations to produce this ranking.  Basically, I took individual batting statistics (approximatly400 at-bats and up) from ESPN's site and sorted all those players by position. Then I added slugging percentage stats together and did the division to get an average slugging percentage by position.  Then I entered into an Excel sheet and ranked from best position (on average) to worst.  

If you want to see the raw ESPN stats that I began with and manipulated to calculate my own slugging rankings click here.

Here are the rankings. These include both NL and AL stats combined. I omitted the pitchers due to lack of at bats and we all know they'd rank last anyway:

1st Base (1b) - .476

Right Field (RF) - .467

3rd Base (3b) - .457

Left Field (LF) - .443

Catcher (C) - .442

Designated Hitter (DH) - .438

Center Fielder (CF) - .431

2nd Base (2b) - .425

Shortstop (SS) - .404

Absolutely no surprise that 1st base ranked #1 in slugging percentage.  1st basemen are your classic big guys that hit the long ball. They are noted more for power than fielding ability. 

Right Field at first surprised me but when I thought about it, these are strong guys too. Right Fielders are noted for arm strength (throwing the ball long distances). Perhaps this translates to power at the plate as well?

Shortstop finishes up last. No surprises here either. One of the most important defensive fielding positions in baseball, Shortstops are often hired more for their fielding ability than for hitting.

Designated Hitter shocked me. You'd thing they are out there tearing up the ball but according to these numbers, they are not. Surprisingly, the DH  mediocre on all other batting stats as well.

What do you think of these numbers?

I also wrote an article where I rank the On Base Percentage by position played. Click Here to check out that article to see which fielding spots generate the highest and lowest OBP.

Average Salary of Each Position In Baseball

If you want to learn how different baseball positions vary in salary earned on average, I wrote a detailed article.  I rank each position based on average money earned during a season. Different positions definitely earn a lot more than others.  Some shockingly higher and lower by comparison.  Click Here to Read This Post

Thanks For Stopping By! Please Check Out Some of My Other Posts and Visit Again!


  1. I'm interested in getting this info, too. I found this link:

    I'm parsing it, but the position numbers are confusing. (0-12?)